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CONFLICT AN FINDING SOLUTIONS

2nd week of ordinary time

First Reading: Hebrew 7:1-13.15-17 Ps. 110:1.2.3.4

Gospel: Mk 3:1-6.


Dear Christians, We are experiencing many conflicts in our homes and work places. This phenomenon has led to murder cases, loss of jobs, divorce etc. The question remains, what can be the cause of the conflicts? What can we do to refrain from these erroneous acts? The readings of today raise the theme of conflict and finding solutions. In the first reading, Melchizedek meets and blesses Abraham on his way back from military excursion against kings that had attacked his people. He blesses Abraham because of his righteous deed of defending his people from violent kings.


In The Gospel, we have the conflict between the Pharisees and Jesus concerning Sabbath law. They watched Him keenly hoping for something to use against him and bring Him down. They were interested in bringing Jesus down regardless of the good he may appear to be doing. Jesus went ahead and healed on the day of the Sabbath; a day dedicated to God that could not be used for other purposes, or work. The Pharisees and teachers of the Law were taking its interpretation to the extreme. The law was not meant to prevent them from doing anything that is useful and good.


My brethren, Could the readings of today be justifying violence for expansion of one’s kingdom or ideas? No! The purpose was to show us that, life must triumph over the forces of death. The readings are not propagating violence for, “those who take the sword shall perish by the sword” (Mt 26:52). The readings are directing us to live our life fully, with a sense of justice and compassion towards our neighbour. For Jesus, human need was more important than written law.


He convey to us that human welfare has to be the measure of everything. Likewise, religion is for humans and not human for religion. If our religion does not enable us to do good things to others, it is meaningless. Living our life fully also means speaking out with gentleness against evil and injustices squarely. Jesus chose to confront the issue squarely and publicly, and cured the man in full view of all.


In all circumstances, genuine compassion must triumph laws and regulations. He wanted to show them that Sabbath day was a day of life-giving activities. He stresses on the contrast between “good” deeds that preserve life, and “evil” deeds, that destroy it. For God is the Lord of life, not of death; of peace, not of violence; of justice, not of oppression. The question is, have I participated in making law that is not life giving with the aim of bringing other down? Alternatively, have wrongly interpreted law for my own benefit?


The lesson we can learn today is that, we should always try to be faithful to what is right, because it is what God wants of us and not because of any praise it might bring us. Any act that is not directed by love is arrogance thus attracting conflict in premises. The laws we make should not be oppressive or giving difficult life for the people. Any law that prevent us from doing what is

good and useful is ungodly.


All laws draw their essence from God who is the supreme law-giver. We all know that God is love, so, every law that must bring about good for all peoples must be rooted in this love. We should be deeply committed to bringing an end to conflicts and evil, by ensuring that our laws promulgated and put into force with love at their root.

Amen.


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